Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Devotional

Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy New Year! May this New Year bring you closer to the Lord and experience Him in a very intimate way. I wish to encourage you with the beginning chapter of our devotional by Oswald Chambers: "My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honor to Christ in my own person by fearless courage." (Philippians 1:20)
My Utmost for His Highest. "My says eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed." We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point He has asked us to yield to Him. Paul - "My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest." To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point. An overweening consideration for ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it that we are considering others. When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only - My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.
My Undeterredness for His Holiness. "Whether that means life or death, no matter!" (v.21.) Paul is determined that nothing shall deter him from doing exactly what God wants. God's order has to work up to a crisis in our lives because we will not heed the gentler way. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him, and we begin to debate; then He produces a providential crisis where we have to decide - for or against, and from that point the "Great Divide" begins.
If the crisis has come to you on any line, surrender your will to Him absolutely and irrevocably. God will put you in situation where we learn to surrender our will to Him so that we can experience Him in a most intimate way. We do not know how the economy may turn or when will it rebound this year. Regardless of how tomorrow may bring, let’s make this resolution to be our utmost for His Highest – not to settle with giving our minimum but our best for the Lord in accordance to His Will and His Word.
One of the most touching lessons I learnt from the Missions conference was how hundreds of missionaries from the West had committed their lives to serve God in China in the past two hundred years. Many gave their lives as well as their families’ in order to preach the gospel to our forefathers. They were nobles and highly educated people, yet they chose to leave their comfort zone, travel thousands of miles by boat, change their lifestyle and live among the poorest of the poor in China. They learnt our language, suffer rejections and hardship for only one reason: to be the utmost for His Highest or to do what Christ desires them to do. Many died without seeing the result at their live times. Yet the blood of these martyrs had primed the soil for the growth of Chinese churches today. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). When we are willing to surrender our will to live for His Highest, our lives will impact many lives in according to what He desires.
Love you because He first loved us,

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